Hemingway Adaptation ‘Across The River And Into The Trees,’ Starring Liev Schreiber, to Begin Production Next Month

Schreiber will play Colonel Richard Cantwell, Hemingway’s semi-autobiographical protagonist.


Spotlight and Ray Donovan star Liev Schreiber is attached to lead cast on the feature adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s Venice-set novel, Across The River And Into The Trees.

Also aboard to star are emerging Italian actress Matilda De Angelis (The Prize), Laura Morante (Cherry On The Cake), Javier Camara (Truman) and Oscar-nominated Italian actor Giancarlo Giannini (Seven Beauties).

Six-time Golden Globe nominee Schreiber will play Colonel Richard Cantwell, Hemingway’s semi-autobiographical lead character who is an American officer serving in Italy right after World War II, facing up to the news of his terminal illness with stoic disregard. Determined to spend his weekend in quiet solitude, he commandeers a military driver to facilitate a simple duck hunting trip and a visit to his old haunts in Venice. As his plans begin to unravel, a chance encounter with a young countess begins to kindle in him the hope of renewal. The novel was the penultimate to be published while the writer was alive.

Image via Getty Images (Neilson Barnard)

Hemingway based the two leads on real people: the officer was his friend Colonel Buck Lanham, a decorated soldier whose heroics the writer saw first-hand when he was a correspondent, and the woman was an aristocrat’s daughter with whom he became infatuated.

The privately financed movie is due to start production next month in Venice and the surrounding areas under COVID-19 guidelines. The project has the support of the Italian tax credit and the Veneto region and will be introduced to buyers via The Exchange at the TIFF 2020 virtual market.

Produced by Robert MacLean of Tribune Pictures, screenplay comes from BAFTA-nominee Peter Flannery (The Devil’s Whore). Spanish filmmaker Paula Ortiz (The Bride) is aboard to direct and DoP Javier Aguirresarobe (Thor Ragnarok) and production designer Benjamin Fernandez (The Others) are among the experienced key crew.

John Smallcombe and Ken Gord are also producing. William J. Immerman is executive producer. Andrea Biscaro is Italian line producer. Filomena Cusano is production counsel. Additional cast is due to be announced shortly.

“Robert MacLean of Tribune Pictures has gathered a very impressive award-winning team for Across The River And Into The Trees, one of the few projects the international audience will be able to look forward next year,” said Brian O’Shea of The Exchange.

Schreiber is represented by Untitled Entertainment and UTA; De Angelis by Volver Consulenze Artistiche; Morante by Moira Mazzatini TNA Rome; Cámara by Paloma Juanes, Yoann de Birague & Associes and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher; Giannini by Studio Squillante. Director Paula Ortiz is represented by Ruth Franco Talent in Madrid.

A previous incarnation of the long-gestating project was due to star Pierce Brosnan and be directed by Martin Campbell.

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